ODMs pushing convertible notebooks -

Taiwanese ODMs are reportedly persuading brand vendors to sign up for new 2-in-1 convertible designs, which are Microsoft’s and Intel’s latest attempt to halt the Android onslaught. Unlike Ultrabooks, 2-in-1 convertibles should feature sexier form factors and they could go after high-end tablets.

However, notebook peddlers might need a bit more convincing before they take the bait. Although convertibles should be straightforward to produce they will still end up pricier than high-end tablets. Based on Intel x86 chips and Windows 8, they simply need more silicon and battery capacity to run properly. In addition, consumers don’t appear to be too interested in first generation designs, which might be the biggest problem with the push.

Wistron chairman Simon Lin said technology is not an issue, but the real challenge is coming up with designs that meet consumer demand, Digitimes reports. This might prove a lot more challenging than actually designing and building the next generation of 2-in-1 convertibles.

Convertibles are supposed to feature the best of both worlds, but at the moment they simply don’t. They fall short on a number of fronts. In terms of productivity they are trumped by 13-inch and bigger notebooks, but at the same time they are bulkier and more expensive than tablets. The technology might be there, but that doesn't mean there is much of a market for such devices.

In any case it seems the ODMs, or Intel and Redmond for that matter, have nothing better to offer so we’ll see some on the market whether we like it or not, despite the fact that the industry itself doesn’t seem convinced the push will work. Then again, the PC industry ran out of good ideas a long time ago, so who can blame them for trying.